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Virginia Tech gunman reported; campus locked down

Virginia Tech, site of a 2007 mass shooting that killed 33 people, issues an alert that a person with what may be a gun had been seen on campus and urges the community to stay indoors as a search begins.

August 04, 2011|By Shane Goldmacher and Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
  • The Virginia Tech website warns students of a possible gunman.
The Virginia Tech website warns students of a possible gunman. (Reuters )

Reporting from Washington and Los Angeles — The Virginia Tech campus, where 33 people died in a shooting spree in 2007, was on lockdown Thursday morning after reports by school officials that a gunman had been sighted.

In an alert posted on its website, the university said a person with what may be a gun had been sighted near Dietrick Hall at the campus in Blacksburg, Va.

"Stay inside. Secure doors," the alert urged the campus community.

"People on campus stay indoors until further notice," the university ordered.

According to university, at about 9:09 a.m. three juveniles attending a camp at the university reported seeing a man holding what may be a weapon covered by a cloth.

"The suspect was identified as a male, about 6 feet, with light brown hair. He was wearing a blue and white striped shirt (stripes were vertical), gray shorts and brown sandals. The subject had no facial hair or glasses," according to the university

Officers responded immediately to the area but found no one matching the description.

On April 16, 2007, the same campus was the scene of a mass shooting that galvanized the nation. It remains the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

Seung-Hui Cho, an English major at the school, killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before committing suicide.

Goldmacher reported from Washington and Muskal from Los Angeles.

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